WNBA Best Bets for Friday, June 9
Underdogs have continued to bark in the W this week. On Friday, we have two home dogs in action: the Seattle Storm and the Atlanta Dream. This season, home dogs are 11-3 ATS. That’s right; only three road favorites have covered so far. Can the New York Liberty and the Washington Mystics buck the trend?
As for road dogs, they are 12-9-3 ATS. The Chicago Sky, Indiana Fever, and Phoenix Mercury are all on the road and getting points on Friday.
New York Liberty -7.5 at Atlanta Dream, 164
Atlanta has managed to battle back in games they are down early, most recently versus the Las Vegas Aces last Friday. They were down by 15 at the half and came back to outscore the Aces in the final two quarters, ultimately losing by five but covering the 11.5-point spread. They were also down by seven versus the Minnesota Lynx in their second game of the season, and they came back to win the game by six. One key difference here will be the absence of Aari McDonald, who suffered a torn labrum in their last game and will miss 3-4 weeks. As a result, we may see more of the 2023 WNBA Draft 6th overall pick, Haley Jones.
The Liberty are still coming off a home loss to the Sky after their Wednesday game against the Lynx was canceled due to the air quality in New York. Sporting a 2-4 ATS record so far, the Liberty have not inspired enough confidence to want to lay this many points with them on the road. Both teams are top three in offensive rating, and the Dream are third in pace, but the Dream only rank eighth in effective field goal percentage. Add in the Liberty being top three in defensive rating, and I’m off betting an over here.
Phoenix Mercury at Dallas Wings -4, 167.5
These two teams already squared off on Wednesday this week, with the Wings coming back to win and cover as 3.5-point home favorites, 84-79. In that game, I went with over 162.5 and leaned Wings -3.5. Some quick math will show you the over was a sweat but did ultimately end up cashing.
Now I’d like to look at an under in this Friday game that has seen the total bet up to 167.5, but the Wings are first in pace, second in points per 100 possessions, and seventh in opponents points per 100 possessions. The Mercury are currently second in effective field goal percentage, but they're 10th in points per 100 possessions and ninth in opponents points per 100 possessions. This will also be the second game in a three-game road trip for the Mercury, but they didn’t have to travel anywhere new for this game. All of that to say, there are plenty of reasons to bet this matchup over, but if you didn’t get it at the opener of 163.5, you may have missed the boat on this one.
Indiana Fever at Minnesota Lynx -3, 163.5
The Fever have only won two games so far this season, but that is not even close to the whole picture. Indiana’s last three losses have been to teams in the top five of the standings – Connecticut, Las Vegas and Chicago – and have all been by five points or less. Three points shows us that the books are starting to respect the Fever more, but I still think they are capable of winning this game straight up. This year’s first overall pick, Aliyah Boston, has also been dominant and is averaging 15.8 points per game on 70.9% shooting. In their most recent loss to the Sky, Boston recorded 25 points on 80% shooting, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
On the Lynx side of things, they are coming off a road win over the Mystics, but it was their first win of the season. They started off 0-4 ATS, but one addition seems to have swung them into three straight covers – Kayla McBride’s return. Nevertheless, the Fever seem to want wins more than the Lynx right now, who are very much in a rebuilding year.
This total did open at 162.5 and has seen upward movement, but I still lean towards an over here. The Lynx are 11th in opponents points per 100 possessions and are actually fifth in points per scoring attempt. The Fever are 10th in opponents points per 100 possessions and have shot over 50% from deep in their last two outings.
Lean Over 163.5
Washington Mystics -10.5 at Seattle Storm, 157
When we recorded the Bet the W show for the Friday games, the line was at Mystics -7 and the total at 161. The Mystics laying seven points on the road? Even against this struggling Storm team? I wanted no part of Washington, especially given they are 1-5 ATS. The under looked appealing, but then the bomb dropped. The Storm announced they would be without Jewell Loyd, their top scorer who is averaging 28 points per game. Loyd is listed as having a foot injury, which will hopefully not be a long-term issue, but will certainly have a massive impact on this game.
Bottom line, the Mystics are now appropriately favored by double digits but are still playing across the country and struggling to find a rhythm on offense. The Storm are a snake without their head and will likely struggle to score. I could still see this going under 157.
Chicago Sky at Los Angeles Sparks -1.5, 163
The Sparks are fresh off an embarrassing collapse that led to a road loss to Seattle, 66-63. They will certainly be looking to right the ship in this matchup, but it should be a tough battle. Chicago has been the best team ATS (6-1-1), and they have won five of their eight games backed by their tenacious defense (fourth in opponent points per 100 possessions).
However, the Sky have been playing shorthanded, had to travel across the country for this game, and will be playing their fifth game in an 11-day span. I could see Chicago hitting the wall here, leading to an under. Additionally, the Sparks are 4-2 to the over so far, but the two unders came in games that Chiney Ogwumike did not play. She is listed as questionable for this game, but if she’s out again, I’d go for under 164. Even with injuries and fatigue factored in I’d give the edge to Chicago, but now that you are only getting 1.5 points it doesn’t seem worth it to bet against the Sparks at home.